Inclusive community at VCU

February 7, 2017

We have learned of recent incidents that have had a negative impact on our community at VCU.  These incidents conflict with our institutional core values of diversity and inclusion.  It demeans and disrespects members of our VCU community and diminishes our goal of creating a safe and welcoming campus environment for everyone.

VCU is committed to creating and promoting an environment free from racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, homophobia, ableism, and xenophobia. As such, the university strongly condemns bias-related acts.

However, often times, the expression of personal views in personal social media falls within free speech protections, even when the views are offensive or include language deemed profanity.

In this case and in any case when bias-related incidents are reported, appropriate VCU personnel review the incident to address important issues of diversity and inclusion with the involved students. Appropriate VCU personnel also assess any potential threats to safety or creation of an environment hostile to particular groups. In addition, VCU holds students accountable for any violation of University policy and refers information to law enforcement officials, if appropriate.

If you have concerns related to these incidents, we encourage you to utilize resources available to support students such as The Office of Multicultural Affairs, Dean of Students Office, and University Counseling Services. Please also visit the Bias Response Team website and the Division of Inclusive Excellence for more information and additional support.

We appreciate your efforts to make VCU an inclusive community.

Welcome Back Spring 2017

January 19, 2017

Opportunities:
Student Representatives to the VCU Board of Visitors for 2017-2018
Applications will be accepted through Friday, February 17 from students interested in serving as a student representative to the VCU Board of Visitors during the 2017-2018 academic year. Information about eligibility and the application process can be found 
online.

Scholarship Money for 2017-2018
$165,000 of scholarship awards are being offered through the VCU Department of Business Services. These scholarships are open to all VCU students and vary from $500 to $4,000. Scholarship applications are available online and must be submitted by Thursday, February 16. Contact Stephen Monroe at 828-3637 or smonroe@vcu.edu if you have additional questions about these scholarship opportunities. 

Graduation Regalia Assistance 2017
A fund has been established to provide those with financial need assistance in purchasing regalia for Commencement 2017. Students may request an application for Regalia Assistance and more information, including deadlines to apply by visiting the 
online website.

Building Inclusive Communities Workshop
The Division of Inclusive Excellence will be hosting a student focused workshop to assist undergraduate and graduate students to learn about diversity and creating a truly engaged diverse and inclusive campus environment. More information is available by emailing 
inclusive@vcu.edu or visiting their website.

On Campus Housing for 2017-2018
Housing applications for returning students will be available through 
VCU Residential Life and Housing beginning January 20 and must be completed no later than February 10 at noon to be eligible for on-campus housing for the 2017-2018 contract period.

Welcome Back Events
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs will host an open house on Friday, January 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the University Student Commons, Room 215.

VCU Recreational Sports is hosting their 
Welcome Back Bash on Tuesday, January 24 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Cary Street Gym. 

VCU Student Media Center, located at 817 W. Broad St., is holding an open house for interested students on Friday, February 3 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Updates:
Resources on Sexual Misconduct and Gender Discrimination
In compliance with federal law (Title IX, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)), VCU prohibits gender discrimination. Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, is a form of gender discrimination prohibited by Title IX. VCU is dedicated to creating a community that encourages the reporting of all incidents of sexual misconduct and the prompt and fair resolution of sexual misconduct complaints. 
Additional information is available online. For additional information contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, Ms. Tammi Slovinsky at  827-1963 or tslovinsky@vcu.edu

Safety:
Creating and maintaining a safe campus environment is everyone’s responsibility at VCU.  It is important that each of us develop sound personal safety habits and many tips are available on the 
VCU Police website. Call VCU Police at 828-1234 to report unusual or suspicious behavior or download the LiveSafe mobile app for smart phones.  LiveSafe users can send tips, photos and videos to VCU Police and receive real-time responses, 24/7.

Familiarize yourself with the 
VCU Alert page and, if you have not already, sign up for security and other alert text messages. Use RamSafe, by calling 828-SAFE, visiting the website or using the VCU mobile app for transportation to on-campus locations and nearby residences and buildings. 

State of the student body

November 14, 2016

Good morning to all VCU students,

My name is Katie Clark, and I am currently the president of the Monroe Park Campus Student Government. 

As most know, there have been lots of emotions surrounding the outcomes of last week's elections, locally and nationally. One of the great things about our country is our freedom to vote - and vote any way we want. Some of us may feel celebratory with the election results, others of us may feel disappointed. But in this time, I ask that we all try to the best of our abilities to stay united as a university, to be accepting of each other, and to remember that here at VCU, we are an inclusive university who respects all of our fellow students, faculty, and staff.

With that being said, I say to all students who may be hurting during this time that it is your right to heal. I will remind everyone of the resources that our university offers to students. Both the University Counseling Services in the University Student Commons, Room 238 and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs in the University Student Commons, Room 215, are here to support students. Faculty, staff, administration and your SGA on both campuses are all here to support the students of VCU. Please reach out to any member of the SGA if you need a space to express your concerns.

I want to assure you all that VCU will remain an inclusive institution, and we will remind all students to uphold the values of VCU and the student body.

On a personal note, I ask that we all be kind to one another, today, tomorrow, and forever. We are the future of this world. We came to VCU to get an education and change the world. I ask that we all remember that knowledge is power and to use this as a motivation to continue with our studies here at VCU, and take our education seriously so that we can shape tomorrow for the better. I speak on behalf of VCU when I say, I believe in all of you and the positive future you all hold for this nation. 

Please be kind and stay safe. 

Thank you,

Katie J. Clark
VCU MPC SGA President

Monroe Park Closure

November 10, 2016

Historic Monroe Park will be closed to the public beginning Monday, November 14, 2016 and reopen in late 2017, or early 2018. During this period, sidewalks bordering the park will be closed along Laurel, Franklin and Belvidere. Please use the sidewalks across these streets from the park. The Campus Connector will cease service to the Franklin and Laurel Street (Johnson Hall) stop beginning on Monday, Nov. 14. Passengers should proceed to Cabell Library for service.

The oldest park in Richmond will be upgraded to 21st century environmental standards while preserving aspects of its historical significance; the fountain will be restored, as will the primary structure the Checkers House, in a future phase. “VCU loves Monroe Park so much that we named our main academic campus for it,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “In many ways, it feels like our front yard. The Park and the new Institute for Contemporary Art together are transforming this neighborhood, and we’re excited to partner with the City of Richmond to make it happen.”

Some FAQs from the Monore Park Conservancy website are highlighted here:

  • The renovation start will start early November 2016
  • The park will be a closed construction zone and construction will take 12 – 18 months
  • Monroe Park will remain a public park with access for all. 

Below is a list of locations that offer resources to area homeless persons. VCU students students interested in making donations or doing volunteer work are encouraged to view VCU clubs or organizations who support these efforts or to reach out to these organizations directly.

Homeless Points of Entry (HPE)

Commonwealth Catholic Charities

  • Hours: Mon - Fri 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Address: 511 W. Grace Street, Richmond VA 23220
  • Phone: (804) 285-9130
  • Emergency Shelter

Daily Planet

  • Hours: Mon - Fri. 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Address: 517 W. Graces St, Richmond VA 23220
  • Phone: (804) 783-0678
  • Medical, dental, mental health care, substance abuse services, laundry & shower provisions 

Food Services near VCU

Greater Mount Moriah

  • Address: 913 N. 1st Street, Richmond VA 
  • Hours: Lunch/ Mon- Fri/ 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
  • Contact Virginia 2-1-1 for help finding area food pantries

With the discontinued food services at the Salvation Army, please speak with the HPE’s about breakfast & Dinner sites.

Quality of Life Resources

Richmond Behavioral Health Authority

  • Hours: 24/7
  • Phone: (804) 819-4100
  • Crisis Intervention services for persons who are homeless & need mental health treatment

Veterans Affairs Homeless Call Center

  • Hours: 24/7
  • Phone: 1-877-424-3838 (text messages accepted)
  • Access to trained counselors for local resources

Richmond City Dept. Social Services

  • Hours: Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. - 4p.m.
  • Phone: (804) 646-2064
  • Intake & referral; entitlement programs (TANF, Food Stamps, WIC Vouchers & General Relief)

The Healing Place

  • Phone: (804) 230-1217
  • Overnight men’s emergency shelter & social detox program

The Regional Domestic & Sexual Violence hotline

  • Phone: (804) 612-6126

In addition to these sites, homeless persons are encouraged to visit the Richmond Public Library, as that facility is open to all members of the public. 

Election 2016 Information

October 14, 2016

Dear Students,

As we approach midterms and the upcoming rush to the end of the semester, I wanted to acknowledge that for many students this is a time of stress and increased external pressure. Although these feelings are normal, they can be difficult to manage at times. Even if this is not your experience, you may be aware of those around you laboring as the semester draws to a close.

If you are feeling stressed, I encourage you to reach out to others – family, friends, advisors, faculty members, supportive others. It is helpful to reflect back on other stressful times to remind yourself that you navigated your way through the difficulties. Practice good self-care, focus on nutrition, schedule study breaks, get enough sleep, exercise, and avoid alcohol and other drugs.

Utilize available resources including University Counseling Services (UCS), to talk with someone or utilize their self-help resources. UCS has walk-in availability daily. UCS also offers a useful tool to all students to assist with having supportive conversations with classmates that may be experiencing stress or having a difficult time. To access this, visit the UCS website and click on "At-Risk for College Students" to get started. Visit The Wellness Resource Center to discuss stress management techniques or utilize the many resources on their website.

I would encourage each one of us to be mindful of ways that we can encourage and support one another. Let someone know that you care about them and support them. We each have a responsibility to let individuals know that help is all around them and that seeking help is the right step during difficult times.

I wish you the very best as you navigate midterms and finish the semester. I appreciate your efforts to make VCU a truly caring community.

Sincerely,

Charles J. Klink
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Election 2016 Information

September 23, 2016

Important dates

Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 17, 2016
Deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Deadline to request an absentee ballot by appearing in-person is 5:00 p.m. Saturday, November 5, 2016

In the news

As presidential election approaches, VCU students seek to register to vote classmates, disenfranchised populations in Richmond

Welcome Back Fall 2016

August 25, 2016

Welcome to campus and the start of another great academic year at Virginia Commonwealth University! I wanted to provide some important information for you.


Division of Student Affairs Resources
The Division of Student Affairs offers many resources to support your success as a first-year student, returning student, transfer student, graduate student and professional student at VCU.  Please take full advantage of services offered through our 14 different offices as well as opportunities for involvement in student organizations, activities and programs.  Visit us in person or 
online to learn more about how we can help you.  

Advisory Board Opportunities
We are seeking applicants to serve on two important advisory boards, the Provost’s Student Advisory Council and the Student Budget Advisory Council.

*Provost’s Student Advisory Council
Dr. Gail Hackett is the university’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  She is responsible for students enjoying a high-quality educational experience during their time at VCU. Meeting two times each semester, members of the council provide feedback to the Provost about programs, services and issues that impact students and their success at the university. Click here for more information about Dr. Hackett and her office.

*Student Budget Advisory Committee
The Student Budget Advisory Committee’s purpose is to provide feedback and advice to the Vice President for Finance and Budget Karol Gray.  Meeting four times each semester, members of the committee will provide feedback on a wide range of responsibilities related to budget and finance. Click here for more information about the Office of Finance and Budget.

To apply, please complete the online applications for the Student Advisory Council or Student Budget Advisory Committee opportunity.

Safety  
Creating and maintaining a safe campus environment is everyone’s responsibility at VCU.  It is important that each of us develop sound personal safety habits and many resources are available on the VCU Police website.

  • Call VCU Police at 828-1234 to report unusual or suspicious behavior or download the LiveSafe mobile app to send texts, photos and videos directly to VCU PD 24/7.
  • Familiarize yourself with the VCU Alert page and sign up for security and other alert text messages.
  • RamSafe provides free transportation service to on-campus locations and nearby residences and buildings for VCU faculty, students and staff. Call 828-SAFE or visitramsafe.vcu.edu between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. You can also access this service through the VCU mobile app.


Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Based Harassment
VCU is committed to providing an environment free from sexual misconduct, assault, harassment or any sex/gender discrimination that may violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other state and federal laws. VCU will offer reasonable and appropriate measures to protect a complainant and facilitate the complainant’s continued access to university employment or education programs and activities. To make a report and for additional information, please visit http://equity.vcu.edu/titleix/.  For additional information contact the Title IX Coordinator Laura Rugless (804) 828-6404 lrugless@vcu.edu or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator in Student Affairs, Tammi Slovinsky, at 827-1963 or tslovinsky@vcu.edu

Threat Assessment and Violence Prevention
Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing faculty, staff, and students with an environment that is safe, secure and free from threats, intimidation and violence.  
All members of the VCU community are encouraged to become familiar with the Threat Assessment and Violence Prevention Policy. This policy details the procedure and process for reporting threats and violence.  The policy also outlines the nature of the University’s Threat Assessment Team and its responsibilities.

Citizenship and Civility
We encourage all students to become active members in our university community, the Richmond community, and in national and international communities.  Use your voting rights this fall to help shape local, state and national policy.  Our country and world currently face many challenging issues related to race, religion, political affiliation, immigration, ecological change, equity and justice, violence and a host of other complex issues.  It is imperative, that in spite of our many different experiences, perspectives and opinions, that we find a way to engage in discussion that contributes to community building.

VCU Athletics
Support VCU student athletes by attending and cheering on teams at events such as a fall soccer match, field hockey game, or tennis match. 

Please always feel free to contact me in person, by phone or email.  I am always interested in your success and how we might support you in reaching your goals.



Student Support For Recent Events

July 8, 2016

With the recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, we wanted to acknowledge our support of Black students at VCU, in our community and nationally. Please know that our services and our staff are here to support you.
 
Also recently we have experienced the killing of Muslim people in Iraq, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. We wanted to let our Muslim students know that we support you and are thinking of you, your family and friends.
 
If you or someone you know needs assistance, please use the available resources below:

Stand together: Response to Orlando Tragedy

June 14, 2016

Dear Students,

I am writing with profound sadness over the murder and injury of many persons in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, June 12.  It is horrific that this terrorist attack occurred during LGBTQ Pride Month at an iconic gathering place of celebration for LGBTQIA individuals. Equally troublesome is the number of Latinx lives that were lost and forever changed in a single moment.  Historically, LGBTQIA people have been targeted for hate and violence with those of color often experiencing additional discrimination and marginalization. We hold the Orlando community in our thoughts and prayers. We stand in support of the LGBTQIA community in Orlando and our community here at VCU and in Richmond. 

During the coming weeks and days, it is also important for us to counter the resurgence of Islamophobia in our country recognizing this was the act of one individual filled with hate. Members of our Muslim community need our support as we observe the holy month of Ramadan.

Over the past year, I have written to you acknowledging other senseless acts of violence too many times. It is hard to not be angry and discouraged when hate rears its ugly head and the lives of countless individuals are forever changed and our country suffers another psychic wound. I hope we can move past these feelings with a hardened resolve to do the work necessary in the communities to which we belong to create cultures that embrace love and caring, not hate. There are tangible efforts we can engage in, individually and collectively, through our thoughts and actions to extend healing to all members of communities. Our education affords us a particular privilege, and responsibility, to extinguish hate and extend hope. 

If you or someone you know needs assistance, please use the available resources below:

There will be additional resources posted as well events on campus and in the Richmond community that will be made available over the next several weeks through the TelegRAM and other channels of university communication.

Please also feel free to contact me with your suggestions and concerns.

Sincerely,

Charles J. Klink
Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs

End of spring semester 2016

April 18, 2016

Dear Students,

As we draw to the end of the spring semester, I want to acknowledge that for many students this is a time of stress and increased external pressure.  Although these feelings are normal, they can be difficult to manage at times.  Even if this is not your experience, you may be aware of those around you who are experiencing these feelings as the semester draws to a close.

If you are feeling stressed, I encourage you to reach out to others – family, friends, advisors, faculty members, and supportive others.  It is helpful to reflect back on other stressful times to remind yourself that you navigated your way through the difficulties.  Practice good self-care, focus on nutrition, schedule study breaks, get enough sleep, exercise and avoid alcohol and other drugs.  Utilize available resources including VCU Counseling Services, www.students.vcu.edu/counseling/, to talk with someone at the counseling center or utilize their self-help resources.  Visit the Wellness Resource Center, www.thewell.vcu.edu/, to discuss stress management techniques or to utilize the many resources on their website.

Sometimes when an individual is in distress and feeling overwhelmed they may think about suicide.  We need to let members of our community know that suicide is not a solution to psychological pain that is temporary.  There is treatment for depression and other issues that lead to suicidal thinking that is highly effective. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please use the available resources below:

  • University Counseling Services: (804) 828-6200 (Monroe Park Campus); 828-3964 (MCV Campus)
  • There is an after hours on-call counselor available by calling (804) 828-1234 and asking to talk with the counselor
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-784-2433

I would encourage each one of us to be mindful of ways that we can encourage and support one another.  Let someone know that you care about them and support them. We each have a responsibility to let individuals know that help is all around them and that seeking help is the right step during difficult times.  Share with a fellow student or faculty member (the end of the semester is also stressful for them!) gratitude for how they have positively contributed to your life. 

I wish you the very best as you finish the semester and appreciate your efforts to make VCU a truly caring community.

Sincerely,

Charles J. Klink
Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Finishing the semester strong!

March 14, 2016

Whether you traveled over spring break, took advantage of the wonderful weather in RVA or spent time in our wonderful new library, I hope that you were able to take some time, catch your breath and experience some renewal.

The next eight weeks will be a rush to the end with assignments, presentations, assessments and exams.  I hope that you take advantage of our many campus resources to support your successful completion of the semester. Never underestimate the support of friends in encouraging you to the finish line as well as faculty, staff and family.  Sometimes, all that is needed is an encouraging word, a reminder that we can indeed get it all done.  Never underestimate your power, by both word and example, to encourage others to finish strong!

Welcome back!

January 25, 2016

Opportunities

Become a Champion of Wellness! Participate and attend programs and events in the four categories of wellness (career, emotional, physical and social) during the first few weeks of the semester, and earn a free t-shirt and a chance to win prizes! Visit the Champions of Wellness website for the list of events, prizes and more information. 

Graduation Regalia Assistance: A fund has been established to provide those with financial need assistance in purchasing regalia. Students may request an application by emailing Assistant Dean Katherine Vatalaro Hill at kevatalaro@vcu.edu.

Leadership Positions: Become RAM CAMP Leader and serve as a support system for freshmen and help them transition into college life. Individuals will co-lead a group of 10-12 incoming freshmen and maintain connections with them throughout their first year and beyond.Apply online and applications are due on Sunday, January 31.

Student Representatives to the VCU Board of Visitors for 2016-2017: Applications will be accepted through Friday, February 12, 2016 from students interested in serving during the 2016-2017 academic year. For anyone interested in an application, please contact Dr. Reuban Rodriguez at rbrodriguez@vcu.edu for information about eligibility and the application process.

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs will kick off their series of events during the spring semester with Black History Month on February 1. Stay updated on their ongoing events throughout this semester by visiting their website or following them on Facebook or Twitter.

Updates

Free Flu Vaccines will be offered by University Student Health Services for students on January 27 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Virginia Room in the Student Commons.

Resources on Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing an environment free from sexual misconduct, assault, harassment or any sex/gender discrimination that may violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other state and federal laws. To make a report, or for more information, please visit  www.equity.vcu.edu/titleix or contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, Ms. Tammi Slovinsky at (804) 827-1963 or tslovinsky@vcu.edu

New Spaces

Founder's Corner, located in University Student Commons, provides a co-working space to student entrepreneurs and a hub where students can collaborate, participate in the pre-accelerator program and receive support from VCU Innovation Gateway and VCU Career Services to advance their businesses. For more information, contact Dominic Costanzo at costanzodr@vcu.edu for an application to become a member.

Hunton Hall: The first floor space has been renovated including the lounge, conference room and new fireplace, creating an atmosphere for students to meet, study and relax.

University Counseling Services, Medical Campus, has moved from Grant Hall to the Virginia Mechanics Institute Building (VMI), 1000 E. Marshall Street, Room 412. The Monroe Park Campus location is still the same and is located in the University Student Commons, Room 238.